BSCF letter to East Herts Council wth further comments on the amended proposals for a multi-storey car park at Northgate End.

Kevin Steptoe
East Herts Council
Wallfields
Pegs Lane
Hertford
SG13 8EQ
14 July 2018

Dear Mr Steptoe

NORTHGATE END MULTI-STOREY CAR PARK (MSP)
Your Ref: 3/18/0432/FUL UTT/18/0460/FUL - Planning application for multi-storey car park at Northgate End: UTT/18/0460/FUL

I am writing on behalf of Bishop's Stortford Civic Federation to comment on the amended proposals for the above application. This letter follows the same order of subjects as in our letters of the 19th March 2018 and 29th May 2018, it does not repeat the objections in those letters, and unless otherwise qualified in this letter, those objections remain valid.

Nature of the Development

Councillors at the Development Committee were concerned that the application was submitted as an enabling development pending further plans to be submitted for a mixed use development on the Old River Lane site. The comments in Allies and Morrison’s response refers to a plan approved by the full Council on the 13th December 2017. The minutes of that meeting do not do more than indicate the possibility of further developments on the Old river Lane site, and as there are no more detailed plans available for that site, our comments in our previous letters still remain valid.

We believe Councillors should be very aware that approving 3/18/0432/FUL in its amended form does nothing to confirm any further development of the ORL SITE which still has to be submitted as a viable project.

Traffic Congestion

The Consultants' comments in item 6 refer Councillors to TA ADDENDUM. Our own Traffic consultants' report refers to the shortcomings of the report referred to. In addition a letter of objection from Mr Bryan Evans is a lengthy and well thought through objection covering many of the traffic issues in the consultants' reports. We believe the fears expressed are valid and need to be taken into consideration before the plans are approved. Surely no one wants to see an increase in pedestrian accidents simply because the new car park is placed alongside an increasingly busy road.

Air quality and Amenity

So far there are no new measurements upon which the Environmental Health officer can base his recommendations. Neither is there any indication that the Consultants were aware of the facts lodged by Yew Tree Place residents in respect of the sound levels in their communal woodland area. We expect the committee to seek further information on the issue before they consider the application.

Item 1 in the Consultants' letter refers to affordable housing, but there is still no comment on the effect of building such housing on the corner of a site liable to be severely polluted by traffic. We consider this site inappropriate for housing, especially as the housing units are only there to mask the size of the car park as viewed from the west.

MUGA (Multi-Use Games Area)

We have not referred specifically to this proposal before, but now that the site has been amended with the various comments from the consultants, we feel we need to make it clear that we consider a MUGA to be unsuitable for this site. Neither the Northgate Centre (Herts Assets manager) nor the residents of Yew Tree Place are happy with the MUGA either in its amended position or the original one. It seems that there are many unknown factors to this part of the application, and we therefore suggest (as mentioned in the Consultants' report) that this should be withdrawn from the application and dealt with separately if the rest of the proposals are approved.

We are copying this letter to all members of the DMC together with Bishop's Stortford Town Council and Herts CC.

Yours sincerely,

CLIVE RISBY